Reading Changes Everything...

~ Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 7:56 PM ~

I've been so so so busy with my family... you see,  yours truly have given birth to her 5th kiddo (recently turned 4 months old!) and I'm now slowly getting back into the swing of my old self so for my regular fans who have not been reading much updates on my blog here, do check out my Facebook page as I'm still very much active there as it is easier to just share interesting articles on FB.

Every now and then I do order take-away foods especially when I'm just too overwhelmed and caught up with my work as I need to help hubby in the administration side of the business since Nov 2018 when our admin staff broke her arm and is currently on long medical leave. Anyway, I was really surprised when we received free books in our Happy Meal order early this year.

Turns out McDonald’s is using its Scale for Good approach to instil a passion for reading and to provide a moment of closeness for families. How nice is that?! I think this idea is so cool and beneficial and I'm very happy to know the books we got for free was authored by Cressida Cowell, who is well known for her bestselling ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ books.

Happy Meal Readers Programme

As we live in Malaysia, I think it is cool to know that the books are available in both English and Bahasa Malaysia which caters specifically for the Malaysian market. I like that each book comes with a fun fact page about the dinosaur featured in the book.

Happy Meal Readers Programme

For those tech-savvy parents, there are also digital versions of the books which you can find through the Happy Studio app that can be downloaded on both the Google Play Store and Apple Store. My 2 older kiddos (between 7 to 10 years old) seems to prefer the app and enjoyed playing the games and activities in the app.

I believe that reading changes my children's lives positively, that knowledge is key and never harm anyone if we read up more and know more. Every time I stumbled into books that are age-appropriate for my kiddos, I snapped them up and am very encouraged to see my kiddos getting all excited to read the new books in our collection. If the books are a bit advanced for any of my kiddo, I will either read together with them or read aloud before their bedtime. That way, they get to hear the right pronunciation and the way sentences sound as we read along.

I remembered reading an article on what reading aloud to your children does to their brain. Excerpt from article below:

"When parents read to their children the difference shows in children's behaviour and academic performance. And according to a new study, the difference also shows in their brain activity. The researchers saw that, when the young children were being told a story, a number of regions in the left part of the brain became active. These are the areas involved in understanding the meaning of words and concepts and also in memory. These same brain regions have been found to be active when older children listen to stories or read. 

The brain develops rapidly from zero to six years of age, and the more exposure, the more you enrich and nurture these brain networks that are related to social and academic ability, the more the kid will gain the future."

Happy Meal Readers Programme

There are benefits of parents reading to their children beyond the child's performance, too. "It's one of the most pleasurable activities that you do with your child -- there's physical closeness but it's probably the most unhurried time that children have with their parent and it is focused on them."

Reading helps in spelling, grammar and pronunciation, the benefits multiplied many times more if we as parents are there to guide our children as they read along. Even our 4th kiddo learns by observing his elder brother and sisters reading most of the time and tried to emulate them as well.

Although he is just 2 years old, that does not mean we should stop him from reading. At this age, what I usually do is teach him about colours, shapes, naming of objects, anything interesting for his age right now. It is up to our creativity to know how to make use of the reading materials in our kiddos' lives.

Happy Meal Readers Programme

As McDonald’s will be releasing one book every month throughout the year 2019, please don't miss out on these books since they come free with the Happy Meal. We have this poster of Dr. Seuss's quote which said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.


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Teaching & Learning Moment - Activities For Children In Airplane

~ Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 11:15 AM ~

During our recent family holiday in May 2018, I have decided to ditch the lollipops and iPad which we usually brought along to pacify our kiddos during our 1-2 hours airplane ride. This time, I took the risk of introducing a new activity for our children which is - coloring!

Few days before our trip, I Googled around for free coloring pages worksheets for our children (robot and soldier related for our 9-year-old boy and princess related for our 6.5 and 4.5-years-old girls). I packed 2 cases of color pencils.

Picture below taken as the plane starts taking off and they were so engrossed with their coloring pages. None of the usual fuss of ear blocked, ear pressures etcetc. Win-win!

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost every day) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.
I'm a full-time mummy

Product Review - Gaston Luga Backpack (with awesome discount code)

~ Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 11:09 AM ~

As a busy mum with 4 kiddos between 1.5year-old to 9-years old, I have started cutting down on doing product reviews to focus on our childcare and family life, home cooking, education, helping with hubby's administration site of the business and sharing informational articles on my FB fan page so I am only accepting and prioritizing products that can fit into our family dynamics (especially books on parenting or educational stuff, family products, something along those genre)! Today's post is my review on Gaston Luga, a Scandinavian minimalistic chic backpack.

Extreme Colouring- Amazing World

Gaston Luga

About the company/products:

"The story of Gaston Luga and the minimalistic backpacks took its start during a trip to a new continent, where our founder Carl Sundqvist met an interesting Frenchman with an elegant and casual style. Gaston told Carl he believed a backpack is the optimal companion when discovering the world. Since he was a person keen of his style, he had put time and effort into finding something different from the regular school style. Finally he found himself an elegant Louis Vuitton, to which he had several modifications made. Making it more personal, functional and unique. Inspired after the meeting, Carl decided a few months later to create his own backpack brand with classic elegant style and practical details. Hopefully these would get to travel the world, just like Gaston.

Gaston Luga loved his elegantly custom-made piece. We understood the industry was lagging when it comes to what customers today want. Most products are designed with big fluffy shoulder pads, plastic materials and thin fabric, which brings thoughts back to the first day of school. It was important for Carl to create something he would wear himself and be proud of. The vision was to make a line with Scandinavian minimalism and elegance to suit all different occasions. As time went on, leather parts, thick quality cotton, metal details and a mix of carefully selected colors were put together and became the foundation of the new brand named after its predecessor, Gaston Luga."

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I decided to go for Pråper - Navy & Brown for my review. Look at the picture from the website, how beautiful it is! What attracted me to this particular design is not just the unique color combination (not too masculine nor too feminine) it is the simplicity of its overall look.

I have mentioned earlier that as a busy mum with 4 kiddos, I really prefer using items that can pack as much items as possible as I'm often on the move with 4 kiddos. Now let's move on to the close-up pictures of the features on the backpack...

I had initially worried about the metal hooks as a mean to secure the backpack as I thought how can such a simple hook be able to keep the backpack flap secured and closed?! But boy oh boy, this backpack proves me wrong! I absolutely adored the strong metal hooks which is adjustable with 4 levels to suit my current packing need, even with a lot of stuff packed into the backpack I normally use the top 2 levels for the metal hook. It is so easy to hook and unhook, even with a single hand (believe me, with 4 kiddos around, I always have to carry one of younger kiddos so to be able to access the backpack with 1 hand is awesome news for me!)

Gaston Luga

The shoulder straps are expandable though I adjusted mine to the shortest (due to my 5' 3" height, I prefer my backpack snug to my body size). The dimensions of the backpack in cm is 30 x 42 x 15, I personally feel the size is just right for me. There is a passport pocket at the back of the backpack but because I am travelling with my family when I use the backpack, there's a total of 6 passports for us, so I can't use this pocket to store our bulky passports. I did keep some small plastic bags in this pocket.

Gaston Luga

There is an inner 13-15" laptop compartment as well as 2 smaller inner pockets inside the backpack which I used to store some disposable diapers, snacks and medicines for our kiddos. I also packed in some change of clothings as well as 2 water tumblers (around 1l and 1.5l in sizes). There is also portable fan as well as nursing covers for my toddler. Picture below shows how the backpack looks like, all stuffed for our family trip to Bangkok in late April 2018.

Gaston Luga

Yet, with so many things inside, I can still stuff in more things. Sometimes I wonder whether the backpack is some sort of black hole or something! Below are some rare pictures of yours truly using the backpack during our Bangkok travel. Right side picture is taken when we took the river boat to Koh Kret, a small man-made island in the Chao Phraya River, just north of Bangkok. Check out the water splashed on the backpack, no problem at all as it dries up real fast and doesn't affect the contents of my backpack.

Gaston Luga

To sum up my review, I absolutely enjoyed using this backpack!

Thank you Gaston Luga for the opportunity given to try out your awesome backpack!

I'm a full-time mummy

Do check out the variety choices and designs at https://gastonluga.com/my/

As stated in the title, there is an additional 15% discount especially for my fans.

Just put in the code fulltimemummy when you purchase your backpack!

I'm a full-time mummy

Do note that I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost every day) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.
I'm a full-time mummy